The Elastic Cloud is a high availability solution, designed for larger sites / e-commerce due to the fact you have more resources available. It also offers high availability through a ‘failover’ / ‘cluster’ system.
With this, you receive cPanel access, so is simple to manage, and will be familiar with what you are used to already.
The clustering is handled by multiple processes 'syncing' the data (files /DB's) between the master node, and multiple 'slave nodes'. Whilst in the majority of the cases, the sync is near-instant, you may experience a few seconds delay between the two machines)
The Elastic Cloud distributes the contents of your sites, databases, and email routing to one or more 'slave' servers, each independently capable of serving your dynamic or static websites.
The traffic is then evenly distributed to each node via 'DNS Failover', which routes the traffic in 'round-robin'. This gives us the ability to scale our infrastructure 'horizontally' when additional demand or resource is required.
Please note, however, that to benefit from the Elastic Cloud, it is a technical requirement that you must use our own nameservers, and not use externally managed DNS such as Cloudflare. This is to ensure that DNS failover takes place from our own DNS clusters when a server becomes unresponsive.
By using Cloudflare, you are forcing all traffic to a single server which can potentially cause issues with resource exhaustion and is strictly not permitted.
Equally, Cloudflare does provide you the ability to add multiple IP addresses against a single A record, however, whilst this will allow you to distribute traffic correctly in circumstances where all nodes are online, you will not benefit from the 'high availability' aspect of the service - this is because irrespective of whether the IP address is responsive, traffic will be still routed when Cloudflare is enabled.
If you insist you must continue to use Cloudflare, then you would need to make use of their 'Load Balance' facility. Please note however, this comes at an expense, and also requires you to manually maintain the records in cases where we 'scale up' or 'down' the infrastructure.
If you are working on the site, our recommendation would be to enable 'Dev Mode', which disables all server-side caches and load balancing, forcing all traffic through to the master server. This must be used temporarily, and not as a permenant means of routing traffic to the master node.
To do this, go to...
cPanel -> CloudNS -> Select the Domain -> General Settings -> 'Dev Mode'
Please do ensure this is disabled when the site is in production, however, so that your site benefits from the caching and HA routing.
Full Page Caching (Recommended!)
Our Bolt-Cache and CloudNS solutions provide you the ability to serve your site's content via 'Redis', which serves content from RAM instead of disk.
This option is recommended for any WordPress or WooCommerce sites, and will provide you outstanding performance and unbeatable redundancy.
VPS vs Elastic Cloud
For a VPS in comparison, you would need to also take into account licencing, such as cPanel licences, Softaculous (if required), backups etc, so can be more complex to setup / configure.
I would recommend the Elastic Cloud over the VPS service if you are looking for a simple way to manage your sites / accounts, but with essentially more ‘power’ for the sites and better uptime.
If you are looking for root access, with more control (but with the additional complexity of managing the server) then a VPS would be a good option.
In terms of performance, according to our benchmarks, you would get far better performance through the Elastic Cloud, over a VPS unless you have experience optimising the VPS to tune for performance/reliability.
This is because the Elastic Cloud also has our unique ‘Bolt-Cache’ offering available, allowing you to serve your sites through NGINX using enterprise-grade caching methods, such as Redis (which according to our tests has outperformed Litespeed cache etc) More detail on the Elastic Cloud can be found here